20 Ways Writers Spread Joy

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By Cynthia Herron You’ve heard it a thousand times. The writing life is not for the fainthearted. In addition to the actual writing, marketing, and everything else our craft entails, there’s an added dimension. Because our work is solitary in nature, sometimes, loneliness nips at our heels. Toss in a few life events and trials, and we have the perfect …

5 Tips for Speaking at Your Local Library

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by Lisa Jordan After my debut novel released over ten years ago, a close friend mentioned her book club was reading Lakeside Reunion, and she asked if I’d talk at their get-together. I agreed and enjoyed the conversation. One of the book club attendees worked at our public library and asked if I’d be interested in speaking to another book …

Say It Loud, Say It Proud with Your Email Signature

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By Jill K Willis You’re a writer! Don’t be shy. Brand yourself as one even if you’re pre-published. No, especially if you’re pre-published. Build credibility for your work while you work. An easy, inexpensive way to do this is with your email signature. Every time you send an email, add your special writer’s signature to it. This reinforces your chosen …

Real Places: Do Them Right or Don’t Do Them

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By Gordon Saunders I got kicked out of a novel the other day. Here’s how it happened. I was reading along okay, suspending disbelief and all, sort of getting into the head of the protagonist. She and her friends were ‘vansters,’ that is, they lived in vans and traveled all over the place, the place mostly being southeast England as …

10 Tips for Radio Interview Preparation

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By Jill K. Willis It’s amazing how one 30-minute experience can teach so many lessons. Last February, Bob Crittenden, host of the Meeting House on Faith Radio, interviewed me as a debut author at the Christian Products Expo. It was my first radio interview. I have a background in public relations and had a decent idea of what to expect, …

How to win a writing contest

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By Jill K Willis You’ve decided . . . gulp . . . to enter your book baby in a writing contest. You’ve agonized over the synopsis, formatted the manuscript, and completed the contact form. You’ve edited it a thousand times, along with your mother and your critique partner. You’ve caught typos, grammatical errors, and plot holes. What more could …

Lessons Along the Road to Publication

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By: JPC Allen Thirty-two years. That’s how long it’s taken me to see my first novel in print. Thirty-two years since I was a freshman in college and recovering from an emergency appendectomy over Christmas break. To ward off boredom, I began writing. I’d written in bits and pieces, fits and starts, since second grade. But, for the first time, …

Resurrecting your Manuscript: Rewrite, Repurpose … but Regardless, Give Grace

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By Lana Christian Most, if not all, authors have at least one manuscript buried in a drawer. Maybe it was the first book you wrote. Secretly, you kept rooting for that underdog, hoping it would see the light of day. Maybe it can. The biblical story of Samson brims with lessons about giftedness, redemption, second chances, and the fact that …

Creating Quirky

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By: JPC Allen So much work goes into creating believable characters that writers sometimes forget to have fun with the process. One way I’ve discovered to prevent character development from becoming a chore is creating quirks for characters, fun traits that make my characters seem more likable or real or relatable. One of the reasons for Sherlock Holmes’s enduring popularity is his …

Three Tips for Polishing Your Rough Draft

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By: Katie Powner As an adjective, the word rough means “having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level.” Boards can be rough. The seas can be rough. But how can stories be rough if they don’t have a surface? Well, they do. The surface of a story is the plot. Everything that happens, that you can see in …